Covering an open structure with pre-printed tissue was really quite difficult. No surprise there, you say! The first task was to modify - expand/distort the '2D' templates to enable compatibility with a 3D structure. There is software to do this, but in the end it was more a case of modify - print - try.
The fuselage was the most challenging, and in the end I covered the main body in strips, apart from the nose, which had the most decoration. The wings were easier. I used Modelspan for its wet strength (well dampened before applying) and pukka Epson ink cartridges that, in the main, are water resistant when dry.
So here are the nearly finished bits of the Cutlass ready for final assembly:
The main body looked a bit bare before I added a few panel lines etc with a pen.
The wings were easier, but care was needed to line things up.
Even so, the insignia is not quite where it should be.
With experience of the top, the underside proved less stressful:
The rear canopy was also tissue covered followed by a wash of acrylic paint. The detail is pre-coloured strips of tissue in a double layer. Some paint was applied here and there and a marker pen was used for the lines so that it all looked 'half right' to my by now jaundiced perception:
The look of the 'rear end' is also critical to the verisimilitude of the model. The jet piped are silver covered paper with a wash of 'smoke'.
The next step is to glue it all together. I'm hoping I wont need much nose weight (if any) as it is starting to be a bit heavier than I wanted.
The Cutlass wings are simply 'butt glued' to the 1/16" fuselage sides. As is my usual practice, to ensure accuracy, I made a sort of jig so I could make sure everything was lined up accurately, i.e. the two wings matched and were square to the fuselage etc. Make a mistake here and the model is ruined!
I used epoxy with a bit of filler; though it is 'quick setting', there is still plenty of time when it is still 'gooey' to make small adjustments before it sets hard. Note the datum line on the board, the matched balsa blocks under the trailing edge and the cotton thread used to check alignment.
All this might be a bit 'OTT', but our models can fly quite fast and accuracy of the flying surfaces is important. I was pleased the Cutlass seemed to line up OK without too much 'fettling' .
Taking time off from the festivities, I lined the trough with 'Carplan' foil and glued on the fins, making sure they were square and vertical (using the 'jig' shown in the earlier posting). I was pleased it all went together well with only a few small gaps needing filling.
I was less pleased with the weight, 41.6 grams (without motor) but the good news is it appears to balance at the correct place so little (if any) nose weight will be needed when it comes to trimming on the flying field
So that just about completes the build. If it flies as well as the profile version I will be very pleased!